Dental fillings are a replacement for decayed or broken tooth structure. We clean out the tooth, open it up, and then fill it in, replacing the missing structure.
Absolutely, fillings can be avoided. We aim to prevent tooth decay in general. A sugary diet or poor oral hygiene are some of the main culprits. Cutting down on sugar and maintaining good oral hygiene, such as brushing your teeth twice a day and flossing, are key to preventing cavities in the first place.
It is possible to do fillings without drilling, but it really depends on the specific filling. More often than not, it is necessary to remove some of the decayed tooth structure.
The traditional material used is amalgam or silver fillings, which are excellent, but less common today. Currently, we often use resin composite fillings. It is a light-cured polymerized filling material that is white and tooth-colored.
Yes, they can. We have multiple colors of this composite material, so we can make it look as natural as possible.
There is an uncomfortable moment at the beginning when we get you numb, but once the tooth is numbed, you shouldn't feel anything other than a bit of pressure.
The nice thing about resin composites is that you are ready to go as soon as we finish curing them. You can brush your teeth, you can eat. We just ask that you wait until the numbness subsides to avoid accidentally biting yourself.
Sometimes dental fillings do need to be replaced. There is a space between the tooth and the filling where we apply a bond to hold it in place. Over time, that bond can break down, or fillings can break, and cavities can form around or underneath the filling. In those cases, they would need to be replaced.
If you think you might need a filling, if you feel any sensitivity, or see something unusual, you should schedule an appointment as soon as possible. Otherwise, we like to see patients every six months for regular checkups, to catch any issues before they become serious. It's always better to address problems before they escalate.